Rockin’ Women Wednesdays – Pam Meyerowitz

The Internet’s a funny place don’t you think? As Matt Kleinschmit, SVP at Vision Critical once said: “It’s interesting that people are relying on what they see as an untrustworthy medium to communicate with folks they place a great degree of trust in.” And that’s precisely how I feel about Pam Meyerowitz – trust.

Pam’s a Facebook friend whom I have never met, yet feel like she’s a sister from another mister as I get to read her news feed and participate in her Prahran SpinStar classes by osmosis! I’ve always loved Spinning classes. I find it’s the best remedy for my gammy old leg and burns fat like no other form of cardio for me. I even dragged my good friend Filomena to teacher training one stifling hot Melbourne weekend but never used the skill set to teach. Ironically Filomena – who hates Spinning with a passion – started teaching it briefly. Go figure!

Interestingly, Pam’s partner in life Ed Charles is another Facebook friend who I have the utmost respect for yet have also never met. He’s one of Australia’s original food bloggers, launching Tomato in 2005 – that’s a lifetime in online years. In fact, that’s how I came across Pam as Ed is often at SpinStar which I am frightfully pleased about as much of the food media, chefs and floor staff are allergic to exercise!

Spin Star_Google Business View_Web Res_0008Back to Pam. What I love most about her is that she brands SpinStar as ‘Melbourne’s friendliest spin studio’. Isn’t that great? In a world of harsh comparison and competitive gym environments where nobody knows your name, it is so refreshing to find an authentic, motivational studio that really cares about the client and their outcomes.

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Meet Pam.

After 25 years as a mainframe programmer in banking, Pam has finally found herself in the business of making people happy by opening a dedicated spin studio in Prahran, with the mission of being the friendliest in Melbourne.

Spin had long been her go to place to feel her body working, sweating and generating endorphins. But she found the gyms where most are located to be intimidating to the all but the tight bodied. Gyms and spin studios are not typically places that look relaxing, feel comfortable or make the unfit feel at ease.

Pam’s idea has been to create a place where the fit come to build their cardio endurance and strength; where beginners can feel relaxed, nourished and loved; where the injured maintain their fitness by doing low impact cardio.

Pam loves beautiful food cooked from scratch, something which came to her after she moved to Melbourne from Johannesburg 18 years ago. Prior to that she believed that macaroni cheese and ice cream (not on the same plate) were the pinnacle of dining.

Gradually, Melbourne’s culture of food and, in particular Asian restaurants changed her perceptions. She learned to use chop sticks, ate sushi for the first time, experienced dishes prepared with aromatic herbs and developed a love for all things green and crunchy – vegetables.

It was a slow change, but crunchy and green overtook soft and creamy and she was toasting and grinding her own spices to flavour healthy dishes prepared at home.

Pam has found that SpinStar is an excellent tool to spread the word of balance and moderation, healthy eating, positive body image and love of self. She aims to help people understand and cut through the marketing of diets, supplements and pseudo science to discover how a simple healthy food and exercise regime can change one’s body. There is no quick fix. Lasting results are achieved slowly and sensibly.

Her message for 2015 is to keep any fitness goals simple and achievable. If the goal involves changing a routine then the new routine has to become the norm before the goal can be reached.

A goal of ‘I am going to cook one extra healthy meal a week’ is far more achievable than ‘I will never eat unhealthy food again’.

The same goes for ‘I will attend spin classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:15am’ vs ‘I am going to be super fit by the end of the year and will achieve this by doing 5 classes a week starting tomorrow’.

Pam’s personal goal for 2015 is to be someone who rides bikes outdoors. She has always struggled with spacial perception, and never learned to ride a bike as a child. In the past two months she has bought a bike, started taking lessons, completed two 15km rides and is going to participate in Ride the Nite, an overnight 75km social ride through the streets of Melbourne at the end of January.

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Pam’s Incredibly delicious Cypriot grain salad

IMG_4005 If you have eaten the grain salad at Hellenic Republic in East Brunswick or at Jimmy Grants in Fitzroy then you know that it is a pretty sensational dish. So sensational that doing away with any accompaniments (including friends) and just sitting down with the bowl and a fork is a trip straight to happy street.

There are many recipes for Cypriot grain salad on the internet and they are all pretty similar. I’ve made this salad a few times now. You don’t need to be fussy about getting the ingredient serving sizes exactly right. I personally like being a bit heavy handed on the nuts, seeds, currants and pomegranate. You also might notice in the pic that I added some quinoa in to that batch. Keep the dressing separate to ensure the leftovers don’t go soggy.

Ingredients

½ cup Puy lentils
1 cup freekah (or cracked wheat or quinoa)
1 bunch coriander
½ bunch parsley
½ red onion
2 tbsp slivered almonds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp baby capers
½ cup currants
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive
 oil
Sea salt to taste
1 pomegranate, deseeded, to serve

Dressing
1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp honey

Method

  • In separate pots, cook the freekah and the lentils until tender
    Cracked freekah cooks in about 15 minutes but the un-cracked version takes about 45 minutes
  • The lentils take about 15-20 minutes to cook
  • Drain each and leave to cool
  • Chop the coriander and the parsley
  • 
Dice the red onion finely
  • Toast in separate batches the almonds, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds
  • Mix the coriander, parsley, red onion, freekah, lentils, toasted nuts, capers, currants, lemon juice and olive oil
  • Season to taste
  • Toast the cumin seeds then grind them with a pestle and mortar  you can use ground)
  • Mix the yoghurt, ground cumin and honey
  • Serve topped with the cumin yoghurt and pomegranate seeds
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